DIPA programs expand reach, include more disciplines
DIPA programs expand reach, include more disciplinesMarch 02, 2005Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
In 2001, the staff of the Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA) was charged with moving in a new direction. Instead of providing more study-abroad opportunities for students in disciplines already studying abroad, the focus turned to development of programs for SU students in specific disciplines where opportunities had traditionally been limited or non-existent..
“Several years ago, the Vice Chancellor called for more study-abroad opportunities across the University, more programs that support on-campus curricula and objectives,” says DIPA Associate Director Suzanne Shane. “Out of that came a ‘road map,’ a structured way to plan for the participation of the deans and colleges in planning new programs.”
One of the highlights is a new study option in India that will begin this fall, thanks to a collaboration with the University of Iowa, Emory University and University of Washington. The program features anthropology, women’s studies, political science, business, sociology, film and language courses, all of which may be used to fulfill the South Asian Studies minor at SU.
A two-week field studies seminar to Rajasthan northwestern India will be led by SU’s Susan Wadley, professor of anthropology. This course takes students into rural villages to study the impact of market forces and globalization on traditional arts and crafts in India. The program ends with an intensive internship or research project. Information and registration for the new program are available at http://suabroad.syr.edu.
Other results have been just as dramatic. Among many other new offerings, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management is starting this summer to conduct “Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in the New South Africa”; junior engineering and computer science majors can now study engineering in Madrid; College of Visual and Performing Arts students can study the music industry in London or perform with French students at the Conservatoire in Strasbourg; and science majors have an option to study biology and ecosystems in Costa Rica through the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). Other opportunities for students across disciplines include conservation studies in South Africa (also through OTS) and maritime studies in a semester at sea, beginning with six weeks at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass.
DIPA is also expanding into new areas of the globe. In addition to the India program, there is a new summer program to study architecture and urban issues in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai; proposals for semester-length programs in Beijing and East Africa are currently under consideration.
Each of DIPA’s five overseas centers has expanded its programming: Students in London can come from humanities and social sciences, design, drama, engineering and computer science, human services and health professions, information studies, management and international business, music industry, pre-law or public communications. At France’s Strasbourg Center, students can study arts and sciences, French language, culture and literature, international relations and political science, contemporary Europe, management and international business, music performance or public communications.
In Italy’s Florence Center, students can study arts and sciences, Italian language, culture and literature, architecture, fine arts, studio arts, management and international business or women’s studies. In Spain’s Madrid Center, the topics of study include arts and sciences, engineering, Spanish language, culture and literature, management and international business, communications and information studies or women’s studies. In Hong Kong, the areas of study include arts and sciences, East Asian studies or management and international business.
DIPA also partners with other institutions to offer programs in Austria, Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Russia and the West Indies, among others. In the summer, 30 programs are offered for graduate and undergraduate students in 14 countries.
The increased offerings are convincing more SU students to study abroad. For example, in the 2003-04 academic year, 357 students from The College of Arts and Sciences and 182 Whitman School students studied abroad through DIPA. In the 2004-05 academic year, those numbers are expected to increase to 386 and 196, respectively. The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications increased DIPA participation from 217 to 251, and the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science increased from 21 to 33 over the same time period.
“We must strive for a time when a study abroad experience is expected of virtually every undergraduate at the University,” Freund said in 2001. With its expansions of programs and locations, DIPA is drawing closer to making that goal a reality.